TWO police officers had to be taken to hospital with whiplash injuries after their car was rammed by a teenager during a dangerous high speed chase through Leeds.
Nathan Preston mounted pavements, drove at speed past three school and entered a guided bus lane during the 20 minute, six-mile, pursuit.
Leeds Crown Court heard traffic officers had to abandon the pursuit after Preston rammed their vehicle and the West Yorkshire Police helicopter and a firearms unit were deployed.
The incident happened on April 29 this year after police signalled for Preston to stop his Proton vehicle on Meanwood Road.
The previous day Preston had driven off from the forecourt of a petrol station in Horsforth without paying for fuel.
Preston sped off along Stonegate Road then reached speeds of over 70mph as he weaved in and out of traffic along the ring road at Moortown.
The court heard Preston came close to losing control as he entered corners at excessive speed along Nursery Lane.
Preston then stopped on Fir Tree Approach and two female passengers got out.
He continued to drive at speed past Weetwood Police station and a school on King Lane before entering a guided bus lane, colliding with the kerb as he did so.
He drove at close to 90 mph past Lawnswood School before skidding on to a pavement and grass verge.
The officers following him later described how anyone walking on the pavement at the time would have been seriously injured or killed.
Preston then drove across a driveway which was covered with large ornamental stones.
One of the stones was thrown into the air by Preston’s car and the police officer had to swerve to avoid a collision.
Preston drove at speed past Abbey Grange school before doing several laps of the Hawksworth estate then heading to Kirkstall Abbey.
Preston put his car into reverse and rammed the officers as they followed him on De Lacey Mount.
The teenager finally lost control of the vehicle on Lea Farm Road and collided with a parked car.
A front seat passenger ran off but Preston, of Hawkswood Crescent, was chased and detained by officers.
He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, having no insurance, failing to stop, making off without payment and breaching a community order.
Preston had been made the subject of the community order in February for attempting to burgle a house.
Lindsay Lobley, mitigating, said the teenager was sorry for what he had done and accepted that a custodial sentence was inevitable.
He was sent to a young offenders institution for two years.
Recorder Ray Singh said: “It is only through good fortune that nobody was killed.”